tv First Look MSNBC December 27, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PST
very much like the orphan drug act of 1982. with the help of a crowd of extras, all these extras were suffering from orphan diseases in real life. they went outside the capitol and shamed the senate into helping. what is now known as the waxman hatch orphan drug act became law. jack klugman pretty much enrolled orren hatch, not an easy thing to do. jack klugman lived a famous life that's worthy of note. he didn't just save lives on tv, he saved lives. may he rest in peace. we'll see you tomorrow. don't forget to check out my blog on the "washington post." now it's time for lawrence o'donnell.peace. that's it for tonight. see you tomorrow. check out my work at "washington post" at wonkblog.com. "first look" is up next. right now on "first look," heavy snow, thunderstorms, freezing rain and high winds
serving up a nightmare for stranded holiday travelers. president obama aboard air force one right now racing back to washington to try to lead us away from the fiscal cliff. former president george h.w. bush in intentive care. we'll have the latest on that. a vigil for firefighters, a tornado in action and december surfing in the great lakes. good morning. i'm mara schiavocampo. a powerful winter storm that brought an odd mix of tornadoes, heavy winds and snow to the nation's midsection is now wreaking havoc on the northeast. snow and sleet have produced treacherous road conditions from pennsylvania and western new york to maine with more than a foot of snow expected in some areas. this storm so far being blamed for at least six deaths. and as nbc's kurt gregory reports, the storm is creating a post holiday travel nightmare. >> reporter: cleanup on the day after christmas for the deep south. a record of more than 20 tornadoes as a massive storm system ripped through mississippi and alabama and left
arkansas with a record-breaking white christmas. that storm system continued its march across the center of the nation wednesday, leaving a near whiteout from detroit -- >> not used to it. it's slick. >> reporter: -- to indianapolis. >> it's definitely a doozy out there. >> reporter: the blizzard-like conditions making getting anywhere nearly impossible, on the ground and in the skies. thousands of passengers were stranded in dallas, where temperatures stayed below freezing, forcing airlines to deice their planes. the storm has caused more than 1,300 cancellations nationwide on one of the busiest travel days of the year, and there are growing worries as the storm pushes into the northeast. in areas hard hit by sandy, residents are stocking up and removing limbs that could break under the weight of thick ice. >> this storm will have some build-up of ice and snow.
>> reporter: the storm is expected to continue its march into new england on thursday, bringing more than a foot of snow to upstate new york. kurt gregory, nbc news. >> and now nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer is tracking the storm for us this morning. dylan, any relief in sight? >> we are going to get relief from the severe weather. no more tornadoes in the forecast, but we are still looking at that heavy snow now pushing across northern new england, upstate new york, northern vermont and eventually moving into the maine area as well. but you can see from boston back into hartford, right down into new york city, it's all rain at this point. we did have a line of heavy thunderstorms move through new york city last night, producing torrential downpours and very gusty winds, but look at some of the snowfall totals so far. there are so many areas from new york through pennsylvania back into ohio that have already picked up a foot or more of snow. in connecticut, we picked up about six inches of snow before it did change over to rain, which it's going to stay as all rain at this point, but we do
still have winter storm warnings and advisories posted, now mostly across central and northern new england, where we are still looking at additional snowfall accumulations. and look at that all across northern vermont, areas that want it, especially in the ski resorts, should pick up more than two feet of snow. the purple area is where we should see a foot or more, and areas back across massachusetts only an additional inch or so, especially inland areas where it is still all snow right now. as for wind gusts, the jersey shore, bricktownship, new jersey, barnegat bay, new jersey, picked up wind gusts near hurricane force, 70 to 75-mile-per-hour wind gusts were reported through the night last night. we did also in dover, delaware, pick up a 64-mile-per-hour wind gust. so the winds along the coast have been brutal, but they are weakening right now. we do still have gusts near 50 miles per hour in boston, but all across the rest of the mid-atlantic region, wind gusts throughout the rest of the day should be more on the order of about 25 to 30 miles per hour. so, we are still going to deal with some of this storm today,
especially in northern new england, but on the whole, the storm's mainly blowing away. >> terrible timing with so many people trying to get home. >> christmas week. you want a white christmas, but there are the travel troubles that come with it. >> thank you very much, dylan. an update on the health of president george h.w. bush, who remains in a houston hospital. nbc news has learned his stubborn fever has gotten worse and that he was admitted to intensive care unit on sunday on a liquid-only diet. a bush spokesperson says the president is alert, speaking with medical staff and is surrounded by family. mr. bush, who is 88 years old, has been hospitalized with bronchitis since just after thanksgiving. president obama is aboard air force one right now and some lawmakers will weather the storms to get back to washington today with five days left to avert the fiscal cliff, and now all eyes will be on the senate after house republicans say it's up to senate leadership to reach a deal. nbc's danielle leigh is live on capitol hill. danielle, what's the latest? >> reporter: mara, good morning. it's a new day and a new standoff. this time, house speaker john
boehner is hinting he won't bring house members back to town until the senate comes up with a passable plan. as president obama leaves his tropical retreat in hawaii for a wintry washington, tension on capitol hill is on high. >> i don't see how you could hammer out any kind of a grand bargain or large plan involving tax reform and entitlement changes in a matter of days. >> reporter: serious doubt is setting in. even starbucks is getting involved, writing "come together" on its cups. speaker john boehner says he's sitting this round out after failing to get enough house republicans to support his own plan just before christmas. >> i think that boehner is being controlled, unfortunately, by the right wing. >> reporter: that leaves it up to majority leader harry reid and the rest of the senate to find a passable solution. aides say reid's plan would avoid tax increases for people making less than $250,000, eliminate some big spending cuts and restore unemployment benefits. >> i think you're likely to see
a two-step process here, one sort of dealing with the immediate dynamics so that you could in fact set up a situation where you could deal with the larger situation. >> reporter: without a deal, bush-era tax cuts will expire january 1st and deep spending cuts will set in. congress set up the deadline, hoping it would force a compromise. so far, that's backfired. also flying back on air force one is lieutenant governor brian schatz and will likely be sworn in later today. just before taking off, he tweeted that he's looking forward to supporting the president's agenda. reporting live in washington, i'm dan yeielle leigh. mara, back to you. >> thank you. tim geithner is adding to the pressure to get the office calf cliff deal done. in an open letter wednesday, he warned the federal government may not be able to pay its bills once the country reaches its borrowing limit on december 31st, which is monday. that could broil financial markets and lead to a financial downgrade. he proposes a series of extraordinary measures to postpone the date that the u.s.
would otherwise default on its legal obligations. geithner estimates his plan would free up about $200 billion, providing roughly two months of wiggle room. well, last night on "the rachel maddow show," guest host ezra klein asked former clinton budget director alice rivlin on where we could see the fallout from the fiscal cliff. >> the real uncertainty i think is what the markets will look isn't in control of its own destiny because we're acting that way right now. now, if you're an investor, whether you're in some part of the united states or you're in some other part of the world, do you really want to buy american securities? do you want to invest in a country whose government isn't functioning? i don't think so. so, we could get a big market reaction, a drop in the stock market, and that might scare people. >> "the rachel maddow show" week nights at 9:00 eastern right here on msnbc, the place for
some stories making news this morning. toyota says it's reached a more than $1 billion settlement in a case involving unintended acceleration problems in its vehicles. it's one of the largest settlements involving automobile defects in u.s. history. supreme court justice sonia sotomayor has denied two retailers' requests to block part of the federal health care law that requires insurance coverage for contraceptives as of january 1st. the companies, which say the law violates their religious beliefs, face a $1.3 million daily fine if they don't comply. 94-year-old former south african president nelson mandela has been released from a
johannesburg hospital after nearly three weeks of being treated for a lung infection and surgery to remove gall stones. "the new york times" is reporting that a syrian military police chief who defected to turkey yesterday was actually in charge of preventing military defections. major general abdul aziz jasim al shalal is one of the highest ranking military officers to abandon bashar al assad. in china, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. an office building tumbled into a pile of rubble this week, marking the end for the high-rises workspace for a chinese airline. it took 9,000 detonators and explosives to bring down that concrete giant. officials in newtown, connecticut, have a message for well-wishers in the wake of the december school shooting that claimed 26 lives, please stop sending gifts. they say they are overwhelmed with all the stuffed animals and toys. meanwhile, newtown officials say they have a plan for the
flowers and gifts left at roadside tributes. nbc connecticut reporter george coley has that story. >> reporter: if the outpouring of support for residents of newtown could be measured by makeshift memorials throughout the community, it is over flowing. john and his son from pennsylvania stopped to drop off flowers on the way to visiting family in massachusetts. >> we wanted to pay tribute to all of the children, the teachers who lost their lives, you know, in this great tragic event. >> reporter: now the town is making preparations for what to do with all the mementos, and the decision is to use everything left behind for the construction of a future permanent memorial to the women and children lost. >> the plan is to turn everything biodegradable into the soil at this memorial. anything nonbiodegradable will be turned into cement blocks. >> newtown's first selectman added, "this will be sacred soil, holding all the sweet messages and symbols of love and hope, of kindness and sadness, visions for a better future and
promises to forever remember the ones lost in this sad attack." for those from the area who have leaned on the tributes to get them through a difficult time it brings them joy to know the kindness from people far away will live on. >> i think it's an awesome idea. we should never forget what happened. we should never forget. >> that was nbc's george coley. now to wall street, where less than stellar holiday sales sent some big-name retailers reeling. brands like coach, ralph lauren and tiffany's all racked up substantial losses. the vix volatility index or the so-called fear factor now up 25% in five sessions, reflecting investors' worries. now as the returns and exchanges roll in, retailers are trying to fatten up their bottom line with active christmas sales by marking down prices as much as 70%. compared to last year, holiday spending was down 1.4% in the northeast. the mid-atlantic sales moving closer to 4%. meanwhile, you can get cash in exchange for the less-than-perfect presents at a
shop in paris. the shop will be opened until january 1st. a survey showed more than half of those polled stand to profit off their rejected gifts. a survey ranked amazon.com as the best website for online shopping, while jcpenney fell the most in customer satisfaction. fresh data shows home prices are on track to match their first yearly gain since 2006. bad news for marvell technology. the chipmaker tumbled 10% after a jury found it had to pay carnegie mellon university $1.2 billion for patent infringement. water levels are so low in the mississippi, shipping traffic could halt next week, putting billions of dollars of shipments at risk. fictional tv dr. patrick dempsey wants to breathe new life into coffee house chain tully's. he's trying to buy the bankrupt company and in the process save 500 jobs. and finally, proof that
facebook's privacy settings can be confusing. mark zuckerberg's own sister, randi, a former facebook marketing director, struck a nerve with twitter users, telling a follower it was "way uncool" to repost a picture she had originally published on facebook. she then posted her own take on digital etiquette, saying "it's not about privacy settings, it's about human decency," which was met with responses like "maybe you should talk to your brother about recent facebook changes," and of course, it's about private settings, it always has been. video you just have to see of a surfer braving the frigid waves of lake erie. plus, this crazy weather is also spawning tornadoes, this one outside a walgreens store. dylan's forecast is coming up. you're watching "first look" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference.
here's your "first look" at some of the other news around america. we begin with a high-speed chase through houston. the hair-raising pursuit went across a highway and through several neighborhoods before the suspected truck thief made a run for it. his attempt to escape was quickly shut down by a canine unit and other officers. next to alabama, where a powerful christmas night tornado was caught by surveillance cameras outside of a walgreens store. look at that. the ef-2 twister hit mobile with 135-mile-per-hour winds and carved a path of destruction that left widespread damage. governor robert bentley will tour the area today. a candlelight vigil was held for two upstate new york firefighters killed in an ambush
on christmas eve. william spangler set his home on fire, killed his sister and shot four members of the responding crew before turning the gun on himself. the two surviving firefighters say they're humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they've received. the two men are now listed in satisfactory condition. a celebration of african-american culture marked the first day of kwanzaa at chicago's malcolm x college. the holiday runs through january 1st. each day, a different candle is lit to celebrate one of the seven principles of kwanzaa, which include unity, faith, creativity, self-determination, purpose, economics and labor. well, a 5-year-old denver boy was heartbroken after discovering racy photos on his favorite christmas gift. >> i said, dad, this dss has porn on it. >> we're not quite sure how the boy knew what porn was, but anyway, the store owners took back the refurbished nintendo device and gave the boy a new one with several age-appropriate
games. finally, surfing great lakes style. a couple of cleveland thrill-seekers braved blizzard-like conditions to catch a few waves on lake erie. the pair battled frigid water temperatures, wind gusts of 35 miles per hour and whatever waves the december winter storm could stir up. brave guys. a busy day after christmas in the nba. the new york knicks playing back-to-back games found themselves without star carmelo anthony in phoenix last night, but the outcome was different this time as new york pulled out a squeaker 99-97 against the suns. next to denver, where the lakers hope to extend their winning streak to six. the nuggets' kenneth berry drives to the hoop when lakers' dwight howard lays on a vicious flagrant foul and is tossed from the game. the nuggets win it 126-114. and to a record that no team can be proud of. the charlotte bobcats are so bad, they've managed to have not one, not two, but three losing streaks of 16 games or more in the same calendar year. ouch. and finally, the only
football in action was the little caesars pizza bowl with central michigan beating western kentucky 24-21. now for another look at the weather, here's nbc's meteorologist dylan dreyer with the forecast. good morning again. >> good morning to you, too. the storm finally starting to pull away, although now it's northern new england that is going to see the heaviest of the snow. temperatures across northern new england are cold enough for snow, but right along the coast itself with current temperatures right now in the upper 30s and lower 40s, means it's all falling as rain right now. the cold air is sitting back into billings, montana, minneapolis and areas across the northern plains dealing with temperatures in the single digits right now. topping out only in the teens and 20s. we will see rain from boston down into new york city, although it will improve through the day. winds remain fairly strong all across the eastern seaboard, but the heaviest of the snow with perhaps another foot of snow possible in northern new york state, northern vermont and new hampshire as well.
then as we go into tomorrow, a couple lighter snow showers into minneapolis and chicago with temperatures right around 30 degrees, but by tomorrow, that big storm system will move out of the northeast. >> much-needed good news. >> oh, yeah. >> thanks so much, dylan. kate winslet and leonardo dicaprio walked down the aisle together. entertainment headlines are just ahead. first, take a look at this. one yearly festival in peru lets people duke out their differences in a hand-to-hand face-off. a crowd watches as duos throw punches over everything from legal battles to stolen lovers. while refs are on watch, the fights usually end cordially with handshakes or hugs. you're watching "first look" on msnbc. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
check this out. a 33-ton aquarium suddenly shattered at a shopping center in shanghai last week, sending sharks, turtles and fish flying. 16 people were injured when the 6-inch-thick glass broke. officials are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. it looks like hollywood is going to have a record year. huge christmas day totals from "les mis" and "django unchained" put them on pace to set an all-time box office record with $10.8 billion. jessica simpson double confirms her pregnancy in a new weight watchers ad. >> being healthy has become a part of who i am, which is great timing, because i'm having another baby. >> weight watchers says simpson will not be on their program while she is pregnant. lindsay lohan has paid off at least one of the debts she owes to the irs, and she used the $100,000 check charlie sheen gave her. apparently, lohan didn't thank sheen for the money until recently because her phone was
broken and she lost all of her contacts. hmm. and finally, actress kate winslet reportedly tied the knot for a third time earlier this month with the nephew of british media magnet sir richard branson. winslet and med rock and roll, yes, that's what people call him, though it's not his given name, were joined by a handful of friends in a private ceremony so private, winslet's own parents weren't each there. british newspapers are also saying her "titanic" co-star leonardo dicaprio gave away the bride. hopefully, the third time's a charm. >> with a guy named rock and roll, how could you go wrong? >> exactly. i'm mara schiavocampo and this is "first look" on msnbc. stay tuned. "way too early" starts right now. ♪